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(also papas bravas) One of the most common raciones found across Spain, bravas are diced fried potatoes, served hot and covered in salsa brava. Sauces vary, ranging from allioli and pimentón infused olive oil to smoky tomato cream to bright red bell pepper sauce or even (in tourist infested places) plain mayonnaise. Although often described as spicy, to someone who likes food with some heat, the majority of salsa brava varieties are mild at best, a little deceitful considering the meaning of the name, “brave potatoes,” but delicious none the less.
Where to find patatas bravas
Madrid: In Madrid, the spot for the best bravas is often attributed to one of two places; Bar Docamar, a bit out of the way but well worth the trip, and Las Bravas with 3 locations in central Madrid and a patent on their salsa.
Barcelona: When it comes to bravas in Catalunya, more often than not the salsa is of the allioli variety. Many places do it poorly, using a store-bought sauce similar to garlic mayo, but Bar Tomàs has a reputation for their home made allioli topped with spicy oil. With a less traditional take on salsas, El Bar covers their bravas in allioli and pimentón sauce and, and to top it off, a generous layer of zorza, which can best be described as a sort of chorizo crumble.